Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

22.10.07

The Return of the Falcon.

If pigeons annoy you when you're trying to enjoy an uninterrupted five minute conversation with a cup of coffee at Brunetti's in the city square, help is on its way. The help takes the form of a 350k/mh air-to-air missile that takes out the pigeons out mid-flight. They will never know what hit them.

The falcons were wiped out, as I mentioned in November 2004, by some idiot poisoning the pigeons, obviously unaware that the poison would move along the food chain and subsequently kill their predators, the falcons.

Now, peregrines have returned to city pigeon duty:

'The fastest animal on earth, a peregrine falcon dives on its prey at up to 350km/h. The sheer force of the bird's striking talons stuns the doomed victim, which is then whisked back home to a simple box, filled with sand, fixed to the window ledge. ... The new chicks, two males and a female, are believed to be 17 days old. Their grey-white fluffy down will be shed in about a fortnight as they prepare to take wing. Volunteers yesterday weighed, measured and banded the chicks. The protective parents flew about like mad missiles, dive-bombing and screeching until their chicks were returned.'

Are the parents the grown-up chicks from an earlier brood of the poisoned falcons?

'The parents are thought to be about four years old. The female has a 1m wingspan and at 1.2kg is more than 400g heavier than her mate. Victorian Peregrine Project co-ordinator Victor Hurley said the birds would remain faithful to their new home, returning to breed each year.'

UPDATE
'Brood', not 'litter'. Corrected.

1 comment:

rowena said...

Wish we had those feathered missiles in action here. Maybe then I would venture into the city more often!